Published: 18. 5. 2016   Category: GNU/Linux

First time MacOSX user guide for longterm Linux user

In work, I've got a macbook instead of normal notebook (with Fedora Desktop). I was NOT HAPPY with this, because I'm Linux user for almost 18 years now. But on the other hand, I was quite curious about this unix-like operating system.

MacOSX ElCapitan most WTF moments

  1. Second screen on LCD via VGA port has really bad font rendering. It is look like subpixel font rendering is not possible to enable here. Later, I have changed cable to DVI and font display started to be okay on the same monitor.
  2. It is not possible to customize everything. For example LShift+LAlt for keyboard layout change is not possible anymore.
  3. There is no Insert key! And it is not simple to make the Insert work as you were used to (at least at ViM and Midnight Commander is). [Solution]
  4. When you have two screens working separately, switching to full screen on one will blank the second. When you move then between virtual desktops the full screen window is lost and it is difficult to bring him back (it is available in Mission Control in list of desktops).
  5. MacOSX use keys Ctrl, Alt and Command. The Command is used a lot and if you use a PC keyboard, it is mapped to "Windows" key. Some keyboards have "Windows" key just on right side, they have "Fn" key between L_Ctrl and L_Alt, so pay attention when choosing PC keyboard for Mac, because it is not possible to remap it!. A lot of shortcuts burned into your muscle memory will not work for you anymore and try to remap them on the different keys will make it even more confusing. Some multiplatform software changes shortcut from Ctrl+Key to Command+Key, but some not (mainly X11 application running under XQuartz).
  6. Default bash version in ElCapitan is: 3.2.57(1)-release (x86_64-apple-darwin15). Probably because new version is released under GPLv3. A lot of cool stuff is missing in version 3.x, for example hash maps.
  7. Application settings are not binded with its window, but in the main menu on the top of screen. It is still very confusing to me.
  8. Drivers for RAT7 mouse has issues. Mouse-hover feedback sometimes does not work, hot corners sometimes does not work. With this mouse the Mission Control behaves weirdly or does not work at all. The cursor moves just to the right when in login screen. When I put back a generic USB mouse the problem disappeared.
    Later, I have realized, that you need a shareware program USB Overdrive, because the producer Madcatz claims that this mouse is "driver less" and allows download only Windows drivers. If you have money to buy mouse for $70, you should have also $28 for working third-party shareware driver, of course. However, later observation has showed that this driver does not work good, needs to be reinstalled quite often and each reinstall requires computer restart :(
  9. When user invokes "Lock screen" the network connections are disabled. [Solution]
  10. I'm really missing the system wide X11 copy-paste style, i.e. when text is selected it is immediately copied into clipboard and mouse middle-click is paste. However, just inside terminal iTerm it works, but only between terminal windows.
  11. Weird inconsistencies. Drag and drop from download list and drag and drop from Finder is completely different operation (for example TunnelBlick will accept configuration file provided by the second way).
  12. Microphone does not work in Chrome, it is quite common problem. If you open System Preferences you will see that there is a signal coming to the input, so everything looks okay, but you cannot do any conferences... Solution: Restart coreaudiod: change to you admin account with su - admin, then find its process ID: ps xau | grep coreaudiod, there will be something like:
    admin           51893   0.0  0.0  2434840    668 s002  S+    3:16PM   0:00.00
    grep coreaudiod
    _coreaudiod     51877   0.0  0.0  2497036   2588   ??  Ss    3:08PM   0:00.05
    _coreaudiod     51876   0.0  0.1  2499904   8840   ??  Ss    3:08PM   0:10.22
    Kill that process: sudo kill -s QUIT 51876. You can test your microphone online:


Install package manager brew and important CLI utilities

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL" < /dev/null 2> /dev/null
brew install elinks
brew install mc
brew install openvpn
brew install htop
brew install nmap
brew install bash bash-completion
brew install wget
Brew install pstree

Bash and terminal behaviour

Remap keyboard (missing Insert key)

Insert mapped to Ctrl+t enabled in .vimrc

" Initial state
let MODE="Command"

function InsertState()
" prefix g: to acces global variable
  if g:MODE == "Insert"
     let g:MODE = "Replace"
  elseif g:MODE == "Replace"
     let g:MODE = "Insert"

" Entering Insert mode from Command
map <c-t> :let MODE="Insert" \| :startinsert<CR>

" Pressing Insert in insert-mode swithes between Insert/Replace
" <C-o> + :command does not move cursor left, like pressing <Esc>.
imap <c-t> <C-O>:call InsertState()<CR>

Note: Ctrl+t is still remapped when you SSH somewhere, so you need to also enable it in your remote ~/.vimrc. If you also SSH there from Linux box with a normal Insert key, the macro will change the behaviour, you can change iTerm2 identification to different terminal and call this macro, i.e. when term is rxvt:

if &term=="rxvt" || &term=="screen.rxvt"

Use Command+L to lock screen with password protected screen-saver

Install Inkscape